As the welded, high school desk-chair combo, now free from my enraged grip, sailed across my 10th grade creative writing classroom, I realized that even destruction of property would have no effect on the surging wave of emotions set forth in my body. I would often keep my anger pent up inside. I would play it cool, as if nothing ever bothered me. Clearly it had just been building up for some time.
—Growing up with ADHD, at least at a young age I assumed something was wrong with me, that something inside me didn’t work the way it was supposed to and so I had to take medication to “fix it.” I would later come to find there was nothing wrong with me, there was something wrong with a society built on industrial domination that strictly values logic over feelings and emotion and has no place for people who are sensitive. People who are born to be artists, creators, inventors, and entrepreneurs, people who are born to change the world.—
We might look to Albert Einstein who, praised for his theory of relativity, around age 2 when he finally began to learn to speak was given the nickname “der Depperte,” or “the dopey one.” His slow development and rebellious attitude would have him kicked out of one school, and declared mostly useless at the next.
So rest assured dear reader, if the world has no place for you, you’re likely destined for much greater than mediocrity.
So, when one of my 10th grade classmates had a few choice names to call me that fateful day in the hallway it triggered something primal and untamed in me. Someone or something was going to get hurt, for his sake thankfully I took my rage out on that desk, although for my sake I might have been better off knocking a few his teeth out. But I digress.
A lot has changed in the past two decades. This event would have taken place less than a year before I decided to stop taking medication for ADHD and chose ‘The Natural Way.’
In my characteristic sink-or-swim fashion, I would go on to put myself through some painstaking experiences of trial and error to develop and grow beyond the limitations of my diagnosis.
And now, I dare say, that even amongst the harshest of criticism, even if from loved ones, I can find my breath, create some space, and stand up for myself while offering compassion and forgiveness.
So here is one of the most effective, sure-fire ways to get started turning rejection, shame, and other painful emotions into personal power, compassion, and forgiveness, right now!
This tool is effective for past, present, and even future situations where other peoples judgements or harsh criticisms have gotten, or may get, the best of you.
The first step is to allow your counterpart to own their perceptions and judgements of you. You can do this through a series of thoughtful inquiries (available below) that reveal insights about why you’re awesome, why that triggers them, and how they’re projecting their pain onto you so they don’t have to feel it. And, you can complete this step by verbally acknowledging all of this out loud to help take the pressure off any overwhelming emotions you might be feeling in the moment.
The second step is to acknowledge that you too have been emotionally triggered by this incident, and take notice of where you feel those emotions in your body so that you can listen to what it is they’re trying to tell you. Then, you can sit with those feelings and inquire where they’re coming from: How far back do they go? What is the lesson they’re trying to teach you?
The third step is to expand your awesomeness into the world around you. To acknowledge how important it is for you to express your true authentic nature to the world and to give yourself full permission to do so.
The thing is, it can be tough, especially when we’re feeling lost in a swirling sea of emotion to engage in a thoughtful and rational discussion with ourselves.
That’s why I’ve put together the Freedom From Judgement Worksheet.
- It’s a step-by-step guide that holds your hand as you walk down the path of compassion, self-acceptance, and freedom from judgement.
- It asks the right questions in the right order so that you can take the pressure off, and begin to gain perspective on what’s really going on, and free yourself from the harsh criticisms and judgements of other people.
- What’s more, you can print it out and hang it on your wall where you will see it, or carry it around in your pocket or bag so that you have a physical and visual reminder that you have options.
This is a skill, with practice you’ll learn it and have it always to use whether that’s in the moment, or days later when you come to your senses. Because let’s face it, we will all struggle with judgement in ourselves and others for the rest of our lives, but with some effort we can help keep it from controlling our lives.
Check out my Freedom From Judgement Worksheet – by clicking the button below – to begin cultivating emotional dignity, confident self-expression, and more compassion for yourself and others.